This book arrives at an opportune moment in the development of career education and guidance policy, given the commitment laid out in the government’s careers strategy to explore how best to engage employers and integrate careers activities in primary schools. In some ways reminiscent of a more condensed, colourful version of Prospects’ career encyclopaedia ‘Occupations’, I Want to Be … The Big Book of Jobs fills a much needed gap in the market for high-quality career education publications for Key Stage 2.
Although the core of the book is a set of 100 job profiles, arranged into 23 job sectors, it offers hints or how this resource could be embedded in structured career-related activities with primary age children. The book offers sample activity plans together with activity sheets and helpfully relates the learning outcomes of the activities to the CDI’s Framework for Careers, Employability and Enterprise Education. Leaders and advisers should be able to devise their own activities using these activities as a starting point.
The job profiles are clearly written and laid out, perhaps wisely focusing on the activities, skills and work environment of the various occupations rather than the minutiae of pay and required qualifications. LMI is handled with a light touch – we are told, for example, that ‘there are jobs for chefs throughout the UK’, whereas jobs for games designers can be found ‘in some towns and cities throughout the UK’. Each job profile informs the reader whether the job might lend itself to self-employment and cross references to other jobs. The basic but age-appropriate cartoon images accompanying each profile make an effort to represent different ethnicities and challenge gender stereotypes; the plumber is represented by a female character, for example.
All in all this is a fun, practical and creative resource that deserves to be part of every Key Stage 2 teacher’s repertoire.
Oliver Jenkin RCDP, career adviser at the University of Plymouth